What is dermatology?

Dermatology is a branch of medicine which is concerned with the skin and its various conditions. This also extends to the hair, sweat glands and any other related part of the body. It is a broad field which includes skin conditions caused by auto immune diseases, various skin cancers and cosmetic procedures, e.g. microdermabrasion.

This includes skin complaints caused by a medical condition through to procedures to improve the aesthetic appearance of the skin. These can be classed as ‘medical need/emergency’ and ‘elective’ (lifestyle choice). But there are overlaps between the two.

The anatomy of the skin is discussed in a separate section. Find out more in your skin.

What is a dermatologist?

A dermatologist is an expert in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases of the skin, nails and hair. This includes normal and abnormal conditions, cancers, cosmetic treatments and the affects of the ageing process on the skin.

Some conditions can be treated by your GP but others may require the services of a dermatologist. Your GP can refer you if necessary or you can choose to ‘go private’.

A dermatologist will offer a variety of treatments, including photodynamic therapy, topical steroids, dermal fillers and cryosurgery. Find out more about these and other therapies in our dermatology treatments section.